News Article

Nintendo of America Announces Impressive Download Figures and Sales for 3DS

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Online connection rate for the system is 67%

Alongside today's Nintendo Direct broadcasts, Nintendo of America has been speaking to members of the press about the handheld's recent successes, and we've been fortunate enough to be on hand for the details. Some facts and figures for the 3DS in the region have been revealed by Scott Moffitt, and they make impressive reading.

First of all we have some substantial results that support Nintendo's claims at improving online services and consumer participation. The headline news is that a total of 67% of all 3DS systems in the region are actively connected online; while not as high as it could be, that still represents solid progress for the handheld. The U.S. figures make positive reading for the eShop, meanwhile:

  • To date a total of 41 million downloads have been completed in the U.S.
  • In 2013 to date, of 15 full retail games released both at retail and on the eShop, 11% of total sales have come on the download platform.
  • The year's download rate of titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D stand at around 20% of those game's sales at retail and eShop in 2013.
  • In general, "casual" titles such as Style Savvy: Trendsetters sell between 15-20% of overall sales on the eShop.

Most impressively, of the 240,000 sales of Fire Emblem: Awakening to date in the U.S., one third have been eShop downloads; in addition, over half of those that own the game have bought at least additional one map pack. It's evidence that, with the right software, retail downloads and DLC have a substantial market on the eShop and in-game transactions.

In broader terms, Moffitt explained that the upcoming NPD figures will show the total 3DS software sales — physical copies only — have now surpassed 20 million units in the U.S., while sales of first-party games so far in 2013 are 55% higher than in the equivalent period last year. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, meanwhile, has performed as impressively in the region as it has elsewhere. Sales to date, in the U.S., of the green one's adventure have reached an impressive 415,000 units.

Plenty to digest, but the outstanding statistics arguably belong to the 3DS eShop, which seems to be an increasingly important part of the handheld's success. What do you think of these statistics from Nintendo of America, and the figures so far for eShop exclusive and download retail sales?

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User Comments (16)



TheHeroOfLegend said:

Eh....its good for them, but it really doesnt affect me that much. I prefer retail over download.

1st c0mMeNt!!!!



bofis said:

Fire Emblem had such high download rates because the retail cart was so hard to find! But even so I'm pleased with the progress the eshop has made above and beyond the Wii shop



TromaDogg said:

@bofis Preordering is the way to go with physical releases....I've today received my Fire Emblem cart (EU version) ahead of it's official release in the UK on I get to play it earlier than most people here, and also have a physical copy too



Dpullam said:

It's pretty convenient to have the ability to choose retail or digital for major titles. Sometimes digital can be better than physical.



DreamOn said:

I've gone all download and like being able to peruse a little digital library of retail titles wherever I am. Huxzah 3DS!



DaveC said:

Still prefer physical because I can move it to any console at will, not need the internet to move it, and isn't locked to a single piece of hardware. Eventually at the end of the 3DS production, moving digital games may not be possible and you would lose everything when your console breaks etc. With download you don't buy the game, you buy a temporary license to borrow it for as long as Nintendo says you can.

Nintendo's DRM sucks, period. It is way too restrictive and I am surprised it does so well. I guess laziness trumps freedom. Hopefully physical copies that you can actually own will still be available in the future.



ledreppe said:

Impressive, but it could do even better if the retail downloads weren't so highly priced. I know people say it's priced at the RRP, but I will never pay significantly more for a downlaod when I can get the cartridge much cheaper. I want to go all digital, but cost is stopping me.



LordessMeep said:

Sounds promising! Now here's to hoping for AC:NL style price cuts for retail downloads! I am pretty happy with how they're handling the eShop, especially with the sales we're seeing on download only titles now.



RonF said:

Interesting that there were so many digital sales of games released last year originally only on retail. Perhaps Fire Emblem's higher percentage of downloads is not only the result of retail distribution problems but also a shift towards online shopping.



ecco6t9 said:

It feels like a proud victory over "journalists" and media outlets that cannot seem to grasp that Nintendo handhelds sell in the long term.

It seems to them if a handheld does not sell 10,000,000 day 1 then it's a failure.

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